Scholars and commentators often argue that individuals do not care about their privacy, and that users routinely trade privacy for convenience. This ignores the cognitive biases and design tactics platforms use to manipulate users into disclosing information. This essay highlights some of those cognitive biases – from hyperbolic discounting to the problem of overchoice – and discusses the ways in which platform design can manipulate disclosure. It then explains how current law allows this manipulative and anti-consumer behavior to continue and proposes a new approach to reign in the phenomenon.
Waldman, Ari Ezra, Cognitive Biases, Dark Patterns, and the ‘Privacy Paradox’ (September 18, 2019). 31 Current Issues in Psychology 2020.